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Overtime law in California

According to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of the California Department of Industrial Relations, employees must be paid 50 percent more than their regular rate of pay for overtime work. Overtime is considered any hours in excess of eight in a single day, more than 40 hours in a week or the first eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday. Any time over eight hours on the seventh day or over 12 hours on any other day result in twice the amount of regular pay.

The regular rate of pay is the amount an employee earns in an hour. For hourly workers, that is the hourly wage. For salaried employees, the regular rate of pay is the annual salary divided by 2,080, which is 40 hours per week multiplied by 52 weeks per year. Non-discretionary bonuses factor into the regular rate of pay, but gifts and expense reimbursements do not.

The DSLE states that employees are entitled to overtime pay whether or not the overtime hours were permitted by their employer, and employees do not have the right to waive their own overtime rates. There are exceptions to overtime requirement in the wage laws, however. Paid holidays and sick days do not count toward overtime, and employees in certain industries are exempt from overtime pay rates.

Employees who have worked unpaid overtime can file a wage claim with the DLSE or a claim for the waiting time penalty in accordance with Labor Code Section 203 if they no longer work for the recalcitrant employer. Alternatively, an employee who has not been paid the overtime deserved might obtain the services of a lawyer and sue their employer for the unpaid wages.

Source: Ca.Gov, "What is the "regular rate of pay," and how is it determined?", November 20, 2014

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